Dear EAN Members, colleagues, and friends,

Since taking on the position of Chair of the EAN Communications Committee following EAN 2022 and composing the new committee in its current form, my colleagues and I have been hard at work, consolidating bonds with partners, supporters, and members, building new relationships, and extending the EAN’s reach and influence as far as we can. It is my pleasure to give you a brief overview of the EAN’s ongoing approach to communicating and collaborating in the name of achieving the EAN’s mission: to reduce the burden of neurological diseases.

There is no question that for the last couple of years, the EAN has been right at the forefront of a global revolution in terms of awareness of and advocacy for neurological issues on societal and political levels. The EAN’s focus on brain health, instigated by our Past President, Claudio Bassetti and pursued tenaciously by current President, Paul Boon, has drawn great attention to the importance of brain health and to neurological issues in general. The publication of the EAN Brain Health Strategy, the launch of the Brain Health Mission, and the hosting of numerous Brain Health Summits constitute an enormous amount of work toward communicating the most pressing concerns of the neurological community, placing the EAN in the vanguard of this global movement. This has most recently been exemplified by EAN Board members co-authoring an article entitled “Changing the Mindset” in the official document for the upcoming G7 Summit in Italy on 13-15 June. The EAN, along with the esteemed neurologist Vladimir Hachinski, are putting the burden of neurological disorders on the highest political agenda, while highlighting the work we already doing to address this via the Brain Health Mission.

In a similar vein, the EAN has been actively and intensively supporting implementation of the Intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders (iGAP), particularly in less developed regions of Europe, where our involvement has extended to the contribution of significant financial support. Working closely together with the WHO and regional societies on other continents is essential for the EAN if we want to effectively address the universal challenges posed by the burden of neurological diseases, as highlighted in the recently published paper by the Global Burden of Diseases Collaborator Network. The EAN’s relevance in the international arena is well established, but it is crucial that we maintain this position and continue to exert our influence in collaboration with our partners.

We aim to actively engage in times of need too. In recent years, we have stepped forward to offer financial support to national societies or via aid organisations during conflicts and disasters in Europe and neighbouring countries, as well as offering what we can in terms of educational resources. There are limits to what we can do, but where we can feasibly provide help, we aim to do so.

Equally important has been the attention we have paid to enhancing communication channels across our own continent. The 48 European national neurological societies are integral structural components of the ‘home of neurology’ and our connections with them are among the most pivotal of all. This is why each of them has been assigned a member of the EAN Communication Committee to act as a primary point of contact. We want to make sure that we respond efficiently to input and concerns from national societies. By allocating officers at committee level who are responsible for maintaining those lines of communication, we aim to ensure that nobody gets left behind. Our regular National Neurological Society Forums, to which all 48 societies are invited for a general exchange of information, add another key element to this approach, making sure that all our national partners are kept abreast of EAN developments on an even footing, emphasising that we consider them part of a single family under one roof.

Of course, communication with individual EAN members and the wider neurological community is also a daily consideration. We always aim to deliver the most pressing news directly via our regular e-newsletters, and of course we are increasingly active in engaging audiences via various social media channels. But our two most visible portals of communication are the EAN website ( and the news site EAN Pages (, which are constantly updated with the latest information and have both been developed continuously by their respective editors, Communication Committee members Letizia Leocani and Benedetta Bodini. A major development in this respect is the forthcoming rebranding of EAN Pages to ‘EAN News’ – a clearer and more relatable name that better reflects the content published on that platform. So, during the congress, please keep an eye out for this new title appearing in your inbox.

The role of EAN as a bridge – not only between members and the various groups represented with our organisation, but between cultures, stakeholders, and social environments – should not be underestimated. Of course, want to be a hub for scientific, educational, and political activity, to cast our own messages far and wide, and to expand our circle of influence; but with every interaction and contact we make, we also expand the variety of perspectives, experiences, and knowledge upon which we can draw.

Moving forward, it is clear to me that there are two areas to which we must pay more attention: innovation and sustainability.

Research and science are obviously key for the development of neurology, and the EAN recently addressed the problem of current gaps in the research landscape as well as priorities for new clinically relevant research with the publication of the EAN Strategic Research Agenda. General awareness of the burden of neurological diseases is still suboptimal, meaning neurological care, neurological education, and brain research are broadly undervalued and underfunded. By consolidating research objectives and providing guidance to researchers, clinicians and funding agencies, we can provide the impetus to boost research and innovation in neurology.

And finally, where sustainability is concerned, we employ eco-friendly practices where possible, reducing waste at events, encouraging online meetings, and, at the forthcoming congress in Helsinki, arranging for unused food to be redistributed to those in need. But we must also build strong, supportive networks among healthcare professionals, patients, and policymakers to create a community that works together effectively. For neurological patients, who often have specific vulnerabilities, we need to pay close attention to issues of accessibility and patient-centeredness, while also advocating for fair healthcare policies. In this respect, we aim to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals wherever applicable, in the hope of contributing to the creation of a healthier, more sustainable future for everyone.

Best wishes

Matilde Leonardi
EAN Communications Committee Chair


Executive Page: EAN at forefront of a global neurology revolution